Mark O'Haire: Two Ligue 1 Goals Angles To Add To My 14-2-6 Record

11 min

Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire went 2-0 last weekend on his picks and is hoping more Ligue 1 goals can do the same this time around…


The Bundesliga has recently usurped Ligue 1 as the highest-scoring major league in Europe.

However, France’s top-flight can still boast a very healthy average of 3.04 goals per-game, with a chunky 61% of fixtures featuring Over 2.5 Goals and a massive 66% of encounters seeing both sides score.

And I’m keen to continue pinpointing goals-based wagers at value prices.

Brest faces Reims on Sunday and the prospect of a high-scoring showdown appears to be underrated by the markets with the goal-line surprisingly set at 2.0/2.5 and Both Teams To Score trading at 1.79.

The price implies we’ve about a 56% chance of seeing the two sides oblige, although my ratings make 1.70 a more accurate offering.

Brest sacked Michel der Zakarian after a run of just one victory in 10 left the Brittany boys rock-bottom. Les Pirates have been hamstrung by injuries to Steve Mounie and Jeremy Le Douaron, plus a lack of form from Franck Honorat, but the former boss could have few complaints over the decision following a dour start and drab on-field performances.

Brest have temporarily put club legend Bruno Grougi in charge of first-team matters, and despite a 4-1 thrashing the hands of Nantes in his first fixture, Brest players have spoken positively about the coaching change, as well as the system switch to 4-3-3.

And things certainly improved last time out as Les Pirates picked up a welcome 3-1 win at Clermont.

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Reims also made a coaching change when opting to axe Oscar Garcia last week.

Stade themselves have struggled with injuries, whilst goalkeeper Patrick Pentz has proven well below required standards, and ill-discipline (seven red cards already) has contributed to the stuttering start that’s left the club battling amongst the lower reaches of Ligue 1.

Les Rouges et Blanc brought in young Belgian manager William Still and the new boss has spoken of his desire for Reims to be more proactive in possession.

His first fixture saw Stade pick-up a 2-1 success at home to Auxerre with the side set-up in a 4-2-3-1, dominating the ball, firing in 19 shots and generating an Expected Goals (xG) value of 2.49.

In big-money summer signing Junya Ito and Folarin Balogun, the visitors have a front-two that’s more than good enough to hurt any top-flight defence and the pair have now scored 11 of their team’s 14 goals this season. And with Reims now notching in eight of their opening 12 tussles, they’re very capable of making their mark on Sunday.

Brest have yet to keep a clean sheet, although nine of their 12 contests have paid out for Both Teams To Score backers, and half have even breached the Over 3.5 Goals line.

Reims have recorded just two shutouts, with eight of their 12 dates delivering BTTS, meaning the pair have combined to see 17/24 (71%) collective Both Teams To Score winners thus far.

A repeat holds plenty of appeal at an attractive price.


Lille have been fantastic fun to follow since Paolo Fonseca’s summer appointment.

Les Dogues were involved in a thrilling 4-3 victory over Monaco last weekend in Ligue 1’s primetime Sunday slot and I’m again supporting a goal-heavy clash when the in-form outfit head to Lyon for this weekend’s standout showdown from the French top-flight.

Over 2.5/3.0 Goals is trading at 1.83 and looks well worthy of support considering the two teams’ style, as well as the league’s high-scoring nature.

Lille have charged up the Ligue 1 standings following a run of five wins from their past six outings; Les Dogues are now rated inside the top-four on Expected Points (xP) and have extended their streak of scoring in every game.

Only PSG have scored more with Fonseca’s front-foot and fearless 4-2-3-1 approach really paying dividends.

Sunday night’s visitors can call up plenty of firepower. Jonathan David is the side’s shining light up top, although summer signing Remy Cabella has reminded French football fans of his creativity and influence, and has been supported by the likes of Jonathan Bamba, Adam Ounas, Angel Gomes, and Timothy Weah. LOSC are blessed with match-winning options.

Things aren’t so serene at the back. Despite picking up back-to-back clean sheets recently, Lille reminded us of their rearguard fragility against Monaco, making a series of sloppy mistakes, and that’s a concern when heading to a Lyon side that’s shown signs of promise in Laurent Blanc’s first two fixtures in charge of the club.

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Lyon bagged their first domestic success since the start of September last time out, overcoming Montpellier 2-1. An Alexandre Lacazette strike in the fifth minute of added time secured top honours, although Les Gones were much more convincing than the final scoreline suggested and the seven-time champions have impressed in the final-third.

Lacazette is now partnered by Moussa Dembele in a new-look system and the early signs are promising with Houssem Aouar also starting to flourish in the playmaking role since injury.

And on home soil we expected a strong showing from Lyon; the hosts have scored in 23 of their last 25 league encounters at the Groupama Stadium, scoring 2+ on 16 occasions.

But rather than support either side here, goals are the obvious solution. A tasty 76% of those 25 aforementioned matches since the start of last season featured Both Teams To Score winners, and this term alone the same wager has clicked in nine of Lyon’s 12 Ligue 1 games.

The hosts have kept a solitary clean sheet and scored in all bar two of those 12.

Considering Lille have crossed the Over 2.5 Goals barrier in 10 of their 12 tussles, and delivered profitable BTTS results in 10 of 12, the ingredients are certainly in place for another Sunday night thriller. Les Dogues’ outings are averaging 3.83 goals per-game and so should give us a good run for our money when backing Over 2.5/3.0 Goals at 1.83.

Recommended Bets

  • BTTS in Brest vs Reims – 1 unit @ 1.79
  • Over 2.5/3.0 Goals in Lyon vs Lille – 1 unit @ 1.83

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